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Prineville, Oregon is the site of a new Apple data center

The Pacific Northwest data center boom continues, with The Oregonian’s Mike Rogoway reporting last week that Apple has struck a deal to invest $250 million and employ at least 35 people at a new data center in Prineville, Oregon. That town may sound familiar to those close watchers of data center news, since Prineville also happens to be home to a massive data center operated by Facebook. [Previously on GeekWireFacebook’s environmentally-friendly data center features high-tech cooling system].

The new Apple facility, originally code-named Maverick, has been in the works for some time. But the new commitment from Apple indicates that the iPad and iPhone maker has bigger ambitions for the area.

Prineville City manager Steve Forrester tells The Oregonian that it’s unclear when the new data center will open, but he added that “we’re just damned excited.”

Data centers don’t employ many workers, but they have sprung up in the Northwest with great frequency in recent years in part due to the cheap hydroelectric power from Columbia River and — in the case of Prineville — the cool desert air.

In addition to Apple and Facebook, Google and have large data centers in Oregon, while companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Intuit have located operations near Quincy, Washington. The Oregonian reports that Rackspace, the giant Web hosting company, is considering a new facility in Oregon.

Apple also just opened a new data center in Maiden, North Carolina, with a plan to invest up to $1 billion in the project.

Previously: A GreenPeace report on how the big tech companies stack up with the environmental-friendliness of their data centers.

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